21 April 2021 | General


A new chapter of iconic Australian racing car constructors has commenced, following confirmation of the official chassis name for the cars contesting the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.

Following consultation with key stakeholders, it has been determined that effective immediately the 560-horsepower wings and slicks racers will be designated as ‘Rogers AF01/V8’.

The uniquely Australian cars, a hybrid of local engineering and international knowledge, to this point have raced without an official chassis designation, generally known only as ‘S5000s’.

The decision to officially name the cars recognises the enormous influence of Garry Rogers Motorsport in the development of the cars and the category itself.

The ‘AF’ stands for ‘Australian Formula’ to recognise the local genesis of the cars, which has its roots in a concept first launched by S5000 Category Development Manager Chris Lambden in 2016.

It is also a nod to the history of uniquely Australian-developed categories that have had the prestige of racing for the Gold Star & Australian Drivers’ Championship as the nation’s premier open wheel formula.

The ‘01’ designation represents the fact the car is the first of its generation.

The Rogers AF01/V8 represents a uniquely Australian Formula with international-standard engineering throughout its design, development, and construction.

While the FIA approved Carbon Fibre chassis is made specifically for S5000 by the French Ligier / Onroak company, the cars are powered by a US-sourced Ford Coyote V8 engine that was developed and built locally by InnoV8 Race Engines in Queensland.

The Holinger gearbox / transaxle and MoTeC electronics are all-Australian, while the remainder of the key components, including suspension, uprights, brakes, steering, wiring loom and more were all developed locally by Garry Rogers Motorsport or nearby suppliers in Melbourne.

The initial run of 20 Rogers AF01/V8 cars were constructed by GRM prior to their racing debut at Sandown in late 2019.

The long history of open-wheel racing in Australia is filled with iconic local constructors, including Brabham, Elfin, Matich, Cheetah, Mildren and more.

The first full VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship season comes to a close next weekend (May 1-2) at Sydney Motorsport Park, with the 59th Australian Drivers’ Champion to be crowned on Sunday afternoon.

Tickets are on sale for the event now, while all three S5000 races will be broadcast live on 7mate across the weekend.


“When you look back over the history of Australian Motorsport, some of the most incredible stories come from the people who built and raced their own cars. It’s pretty special to add the Rogers name to that list with this new era for the Gold Star.

“People look at these cars and think that they are an international open-wheeler, but they are really a showcase for Aussie engineering and what our motorsport industry can do. Outside of the chassis and the engine sourced from the USA, everything has been done in Australia and that makes them a very unique racing car with enormous local input and skill behind it.

“As much as GRM played a major role in bringing the S5000 concept to life, it’s important to acknowledge Chris Lambden and his vision to create a modern Formula 5000 race car and the original prototype work that Mike Borland and his team at Borland Racing Development tirelessly worked on.

“We also wouldn’t be in this position without the incredible influence and vision of Brian Boyd, who has been such a great supporter of the category and our sport in general.

“It’s going to be really special for Garry and especially our whole team, who have put in so much time and effort into producing these cars, when the field of cars sporting the name ‘Rogers’ rolls out of pit lane for the final round of this year’s Championship in Sydney.”